(NO, not those kind of F Words! ;) Luckily, our struggle is with the pronunciation of the good F words and NOT that she is saying the bad ones!
Since we have had our IDP, we have had an assessment with the speech therapist and have also gotten Z's hearing tested. All is well with her hearing, and while her language is great for an internationally adopted child, we have decided to take advantage of the services available to us in Canada, and get some assistance from the speech therapist.
Zahra's vocabulary is growing, and her sentence lengths are also growing, but Daddy and others still have a difficult time understanding her. Speech therapy helps us identify the problem areas and gives me the tools to work on these areas with her.
Today the therapist identified one main contributor of the misunderstandings is Zahra's interpretation of the 'F' sound. Commonly children of her age, will substitute a 'P' or a 'B' for the 'F' sound, pronouncing 'Fish' as 'Pish' or 'Bish'. Zahra uses a 'Sh' sound, pronouncing 'Fish' as 'Shish', which, apparently is difficult for our ears to interpret.
I thought I would share some simple exercises in case you also have a child who also has difficulties in this area.
We started by instructing Zahra to bite her lower lip and breath out, making the F sound.
She did so in front of a mirror, so she could see herself. We practiced this a few times, and then played a couple games. Her favorite game was the stamping game.
At home, I allow her to draw the stamping circles, then she stamps them as she pronounces the word. One stamp for the 'f' sound , and another stamp for the end of the word. (I was out of ink pads, so we used my office stamps. She didn't seem to mind! Ha.)
One day in and we are nailing the words about 50% of the time. In a couple days she won't even have to think about it anymore.
Here is a link to some picture cards and other activities you can try if you also have a child who struggles with the 'f' sound. Good luck!